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PBS News Hour

News/Business. Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff, Jeffrey Brown. (2012) (CC) (Stereo)

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Afghanistan 17, Nato 11, Pakistan 10, U.s. 10, Brown 8, Us 8, Dharun Ravi 8, Tyler 7, New York 5, Dobbins 4, Chicago 4, Washington 4, Bloomington 4, Yemen 3, Ravi 3, Johnny 3, Lamm 3, Obama 3, Illinois 3, Fischer Dieskau 3,
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  PBS    PBS News Hour    News/Business. Gwen Ifill, Judy  
   Woodruff, Jeffrey Brown.  (2012)  (CC) (Stereo)  

    May 21, 2012
    6:00 - 7:00pm PDT  

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: a former rutgers university student was sentenced to 30 days in prison for using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate, who later jumped to his death from a bridge. good evening, i'm gwen ifill. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the "newshour" tonight, we go inside the courtroom at today's sentencing and explore the issues in a case that captured national attention. >> ifill: then, we examine a lawsuit filed by catholic leaders, institutions and schools against the obama administration for mandating birth control coverage for employees. >> brown: from our american graduate series, paul solman reports on a move to keep kids in school by teaching skills both inside and outside the classroom.
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>> high school dropouts here in bloomington, illinois building low income houses like those very homes behind me. is this the way to get kids back to school and into the work force? >> ifill: judy woodruff assesses the nato summit, as world leaders agree to hand over security in afghanistan by the middle of next year. >> brown: and we remember powerful german baritone dietrich fischer-dieskau. >> ifill: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> this is the at&t network-- a living, breathing intelligence bringing people together to bring new ideas to life. >> look, it's so simple. >> in a year, the bright minds from inside and outside the company come together to work on an idea. adding to it from the road, improving it in the cloud, all in real time. >> good idea. >> it's the at&t network. providing new ways to work together, so business works better.
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and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> brown: a new jersey courtroom drew nationwide attention today. the sentence was handed down in a case involving a gay college student who killed himself after being spied on by his roommate.
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>> i heard this jury say "guilty" 288 times. 24 questions, 12 jurors. that's the multiplication. and i haven't heard you apologize once. >> brown: after delivering a stern lecture, judge glenn berman gave dharum ravi 30 days behind bars, plus three years of probation. the 20-year-old ravi could have gotten ten years in prison for convictions on invasion of privacy, bias intimidation and destroying evidence. in march, a jury found him guilty of using a webcam to record his rutgers roommate tyler clementi in a sexual encounter with another man, then posting about it on twitter. days later, in september of 2010, clementi killed himself by jumping off new york's george washington bridge. today, clementi's mother addressed the court, before sentencing.
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>> my question is why didn't his roommate just request a roommate change? why was he so arrogant and so mean spirited and so evil that he would humiliate and embarrass tyler him in front of new dorm mates, the very people tyler was trying to become friends with. >> brown: ravi was not charged in clementi's death, and before the trial, he turned down a plea bargain that would have given him no jail time. his mother appealed today for leniency. >> as a mother i feel that dharun has really suffered enough. for the past two years the media's influence on this case is devastating. my 20-year-old son already has too much burden on his shoulder to face for the rest of his life. >> brown: in addition to the jail time, ravi was ordered to pay $10,000 to a program helping victims of bias crimes.
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he'll also have to perform 300 hours of community service. but the judge recommended that he not be deported to his native india. ravi is expected to appeal his convictions. and prosecutors said they may appeal the sentencing decision. >> brown: a short time ago i spoke with kate zernicke, who was in the courtroom today, reporting on the case for the "new york times." welcome. so dharun ravi faced up to ten years in prison. was this sentence a surprise for those in the courtroom? >> i think it was an enormous surprise. i think it was a surprise even to the people who had argued for leniency on his behalf because the judge went on quite an extended tongue lashing before sentencing ravi. almost sort of dropped into the middle of his conversation the fact he was going to get only 30 days in jail. >> brown: did the judge give any hint, the sense of why he ended up with a lighter sentence or what the reasoning was? >> well, i think the judge did
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nod to the fact that he believed the legislature... the new jersey state legislature passed this law on bias intimidation and intended it to be attached to crimes such... crimes that were really violent not crimes like invasion of privacy which is what dharun ravi was convicted of a few months. also prosecutors noted that a corrections officer, in doing the presentencing interview with dharun ravi, had said that he was respectful and that the corrections officer did not recommend jail time. recommended actually against prison time. >> brown: tell us a little bit more about what it was like in the courtroom today. clearly very moving statements from the mothers of both of the two young men most closely involved in this. what was it like? >> it was incredibly emotionallal. even reporters watching it were sobbing. i mean you saw these two mothers , both of them describe... both of them in their prepared statements had described the first day dropping their children at college and how much promise they thought they had.
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for what they expected for these two young men and how they hoped the relationship between the two which was cool from the beginning, they hoped it would evolve. you know, mrs. clementi, talked about her son's enormous promise and the sheer pain of having to sit through court testimony and hear just sort of the agony of her son's final days. also seemed very angry at the defense. they felt that the defense had trieded to make this tyler's fault. that he had shown... that ravi had shown no remorse. in the one televised interview he did after the second ravi said i'm comforted by the fact that tyler wasn't really bothered by what i did. he sort of implied that tyler had been unaffected by this. there was so much else going on in tyler's life that the actual spying hadn't affected him. >> brown: ravi's mother also spoke. that was also emotional. >> that was incredibly emotional. all along in this verdict since the verdict people have been saying one life has been lost. if we sentence dharun ravi, two
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lives will be lost. i think that was what she was conveying. he's dropped out of rutgers university. he's been sitting at home. he takes little pleasure in anything but talking to his little brother and being with the family dog. he's been taking courses online. he's lost 25 pounds. he's talked about how he's sort of been sentenced already. >> brown: this case, of course, drew lots and lots of attention. what kind of reaction have you been able to get, if any, from outside groups particularly gay advocates? >> well certainly garden state equality which is a statewide group that's been pushing very hard for the anti-bullying law that was passed after tyler's suicide, they have said that this is, you know, just a slap on the wrist. they say even shoplifting defendants in this state get a longer sentence than what dharun ravi is getting. on the other hand, many gay rights advocates have said that they don't believe that hate crimes charges are the best way to guard against bullying of gays. they said they think this is a reflection of the back lash. this reflects that people felt
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that the prosecutors had gone in too hard. they really reached too far in trying to bring charges against mr. ravi. >> brown: you know, the case really played into these two major debates out there. one is the one you were just referring to, which is the laws against hate crimes, and then the whole issue around teen suicide particularly gay teen suicide. what is your sense of where that... where those stand now after all of this? what did this raise? >> well, i think we're going to see a real examination even in new jersey, if not in other states, of hate crimes statutes and whether they should be... whether they can be attached to crimes like bias intimidation or whether they do have to be by definition violent crimes. and i think also people are going to try to sort of take this crime and think about, you know, what gay rights advocates have argued, those who support leniency for dharun ravi, what they were saying is let's talk about all the ways that tyler clementi was told that being gay was bad. it wasn't just his roommate. it was churches.
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it was, you know, people in school. i think there will be some effort to try to draw broader lessons from this. >> brown: in the meantime, dharun ravi's lawyers said they might appeal the original verdict and the prosecutors today said they were going to go ahead to appeal the sentencing, right some. >> absolutely. prosecutors appeared very, very stunned, very angry about this verdict. they had planned a press conference after the sentencing. they had planned a press conference and canceled it. they really put out just a brief statement saying that this is not... this deviated from sentencing guidelines. they will absolutely appeal. they have ten days to appeal before dharun ravi is expected to report to prison, sorry, to jail on may 31. >> brown: kay zernike of the "new york times," thanks so much. >> thanks, jeff. >> ifill: still to come on the "newshour": a lawsuit over birth control coverage; high school drop-outs building new skills; the nato summit in chicago and a master of lyrical song. but first, the other news of the day.
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here's kwame holman. >> holman: a powerful suicide bomb exploded in the capital of yemen today killing 96 soldiers and wounding more than 200. it came amid a brewing u.s.- yemeni war on al-qaeda's chapter in the country. ( siren ) sirens blared in the yemeni capital of sanaa as emergency vehicles sped to the scene of the thunderous blast. hundreds of soldiers had gathered near the presidential palace for a military parade rehearsal when a person in uniform detonated a belt of explosives. >> ( translated ): this is the work of al-qaida, it is clear that this is their work, they did this. >> holman: and within hours, al qaeda in the arabian peninsula made that claim. it said the targets included yemen's defense minister, who was present, but unhurt. the militants said the bombing was retaliation for a recent army offensive to recapture key towns in the south. al-qaeda fighters gained ground there during last year's
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uprising that ousted former president ali abdullah saleh. in a warning today, the al-qeada group warned of more attacks, unless the army pulls back. it said, "what happened today is but the start of a jihad project in defense of honor and sanctities." even before the yemeni army's offensive, the u.s. stepped up a drone aircraft campaign against a.q.a.p. its leader anwar al-awlaki was killed in a missile strike last fall. and earlier this month, another strike killed fahd al-quso, believed responsible for the bombing of the u.s.s. "cole" in 2000. two weeks ago, f.b.i. director robert mueller warned the group is committed to high-profile attacks against the u.s. >> let me begin with the threat meanwhile al qaeda affiliates especially a.q.a.p. represent the top counterterrorism threat to the nation. a.q.a.p. has attempted several attacks on the u.s. including the failed christmas day airliner bombing in 2009 and the
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attempted bombing of u.s. bound cargo planes in 2010. >> holman: mueller spoke after u.s. officials said a saudi double agent had disrupted a plot to blow up a u.s.-bound airliner. all of this comes just three months after yemen's new president abd-rabbu mansour hadi took office. he promised the families affected by today's attack the country's armed forces would become tougher and more determined in pursuing terrorists. the ongoing violence in syria has spilled over to neighboring lebanon again. supporters and opponents of the syrian government fought overnight, after a leading sunni muslim cleric was killed. this morning, charred cars and motorcycles littered the streets of beirut. at least two people were killed in the fighting. china's state-controlled media today played down the departure of chen guangcheng, saying most chinese are not interested. the blind dissident arrived in new york city on saturday, ending more than a month of diplomatic tension. his wife and two children came
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with him. other relatives stayed behind. chen escaped from house arrest in his chinese village last month, and briefly took refuge at the u.s. embassy in beijing. the lone figure to go to prison for blowing up pan am flight 103 over lockerbie, scotland was buried today in his native libya. the attack killed 270 people in 1988. abdelbaset al-megrahi died sunday, nearly three years after being released from custody in britain. we have a report narrated by bill neely of "independent television news." reporter: a simple wooden coffin for the man convictedded of one of the most sophisticated and deadly bombings in history. no hero's burial for abdel baset al megrahi. libyans would rather forget him. he was khadaffi's man. so no state funeral. less than 100 mourners here to lay to rest the only man ever convictedded of the lockerbie
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bombing. megrahi's secrets went with him to the grave. the full truth about lockerbie is buried too. megrahi, who died of cancer, had always protested his innocence. his brother had a new message for the bereaved of the lockerbie bomb. >> only one thing i have to tell them. >> reporter: he was passenger 271. he too was a victim. no one believes he acted alone to do this. scottish prosecutors are confident a new libyan government might help secure more convictions. >> i think that they are determined to do what they can to bring the others to justice that were involved in this appalling crime. >> reporter: for many, this man holds the key, libya's former intelligence chief. now under arrest. >> he knows the truth. he knows who was involved. he also knows what countries were involved. it is imperative that the united
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kingdom and the united states do aggressionive interrogation to get the truth. >> reporter: it was the worst crime on british soil. mass murder. yet still the unanswered questions persist. megrahi is dead. the mystery of lockerbie is not. >> holman: al-megrahi was 60 years old. a florida man's twins won't get his social security benefits because they were conceived artificially, after he died. the u.s. supreme court issued a unanimous decision today. it cited florida's inheritance law, which bars benefits in such cases. the court also agreed to hear a closely watched case involving surveillance of overseas communications. for analysis of the court's actions from marcia coyle of the "national law journal", visit our politics page. wall street ended a series of losing sessions on new signals that china will try to boost its economy. the dow jones industrial average gained 135 points to close at 12,504. the nasdaq rose 68 points to close at 2,847.
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the gains did not extend to facebook. the social media giant lost 11% in its second day of being a publicly traded company. the head of the nuclear regulatory commission announced his resignation today, after a rocky three-year tenure. gregory jaczko was credited with advancing safety for the nation's nuclear reactors. but his fellow commissioners accused him of acting like a bully and creating a difficult work environment. jaczko denied the accusations. a federal health advisory panel is sticking with advice that healthy men should not get routine screenings for prostrate cancer. it found that blood tests often lead to unnecessary treatment of relatively harmless tumors. the group initially proposed that medical guidance last fall but it drew widespread protest in the medical community. robin gibb-- one of the brothers
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who made up the beegees, and defined the disco era-- has passed away. he died sunday in london after a long fight with cancer. gibb and his brothers, maurice and barry, began performing in the 1960s. but their greatest fame began in 1977, with the soundtrack for "saturday night fever", starring john travolta. the album served as a turning point in popular music ushering in the dance music era. ♪ staying alive ♪ going nowhere ♪ somebody help me >> holman: robin gibb was 62 years old, and was the second bee gee to die. maurice gibb died of intestinal problems, in 2003. those are some of the day's major stories.
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now, back to gwen. >> ifill: a bitter dispute over whether the government can force employers to offer birth control coverage is heading to court. 43 leading catholic institutions in eight states, including the archdioceses of new york, washington, houston and pittsburgh, as well as two universities, filed suit against the obama administration today. the administration issued the mandate in january-- and then modified it-- after a leading scientific advisory panel recommended new coverage to improve maternal and child health. for the latest and the background, we turn to janet adamy, health editor of the "wall street journal." welcome. >> my pleasure. ifill: what is the basic disagreement right now between the catholic church and the obama administration? >> so, gwen, the basic disagreement is how this policy would be implementedded. as you explained, this is part of president barack obama's health care law that was passed in 2010. the original idea was that consumers would get a batch of
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preventive health services where they would have to pay no copay for the coverage. which services should be covered? the institute said that birth control should be included in that. they labeled that as a preventive service. the obama administration took up their suggestion on that and made that law. well, what happened, where they ran into conflict, was the catholic church said, wait a minute. not only do we not want to provide contraception without a copayment, we don't want to have it in our plans in the first place. our problem with this requirement is you're forcing us to provide birth control when historically we haven't and we didn't want to. >> ifill: but they came up... they came up with a middle ground which is you don't have to provide it directly. as long as the institutes don't provide it directly, they would be safe. >> exactly. it's a very carefully threaded needle. the way they structured the compromise is that the employers, these catholic employers -- colleges, catholic
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hospitals, catholic charities -- they would still be required to provide the coverage to their employees. they would still get the benefit. but the compromise was that the employer wouldn't have to directly pay for it. they would funnel the payment through the insurance company. now it's kind of a tricky distinction because really all of your payments get funneled through the insurance company. but the administration was hoping that by structuring it that way, they could effectively give schools and hospitals the assurance that their dollars weren't directly going toward this. initially, some catholic groups were optimistic that if you structured it the right way they could have a sense of confidence that if they objected to this policy and objected to providing this on moral grounds that they could feel like that they weren't paying for it. >> ifill: they agreed, all sides agreed, they were going to get behind the scenes and work something out. here we are now with a lawsuit. obviously things fell apart. >> they did. what the... the plaintiffs, the highest profile plaintiff today is notre dame, what they said was, look, you know, we've been talking to the administration
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for a couple of months now. we haven't come up with a solution yet. we're not very optimistic that we're going to. their concern is that, you know, there's a deadline by which, you know, by next year where they have to implement this. they have to make plans for their insurance plans for students starting in the fall and what they're saying is this is taking too long to work this out. they're worried they won't be able to negotiate a solution so they turn to the courts instead. >> ifill: is one of the sticking points that the... we're not into definitions here... but the definition of what a religious institution is. it's not just the church, not just a hospital. at least this is what the catholic church says. it's not just an archdiocese. it's more than that. >> it is. one of the aspects of this provision the administration felt very confident about was they carvedded out an exemption for catholic churches. if you're a church and you employ people there is a wider exemption. but what the catholic bishops are saying is, look, you may not be a church but university of notre dame, georgetown, a catholic hospital, they till
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should have every right. for that matter an employer who may not be, you know, it may be a small business owner who is catholic who objects to this, they're saying that the law doesn't have any protections for those people, that they feel they should have. >> ifill: the white house did this, i assume, because as we mentioned there was a scientific group that said this was a good idea to expand coverage to more people. yet it seems to have put the white house not only here in this case but also when it comes to who is speaking at whose colleges on commencement day into a pretty critical stand-off with the catholic church. >> it has. kathleen sebelius the health and human services secretary was invited to speak at a georgetown policy commencement ceremony last week. there were some protests at that. there were some criticism about that. another interesting aspect to this is with the notre dame connection, president obama was asked and did speak at notre dame's commencement in 2009. and so the fact that now, you know, somebody who had been seen
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as a school... a school that had been seen as an ally of the administration taking this turn is kind of a striking turn. >> ifill: among other things, the catholic groups today said that they felt there were no more viable options for them. was there ever a viable course or if you decided this was a moral issue that was being imposed on you by the government, was there ever going to be a way to thread that needle? >> it's a good question. i think both sides were optimistic they could try to come to some kind of a compromise. one of the sticking points is that for a lot of employers, they do what's called self-insuring. if it's a large employer they actually take on the risk of providing and paying out claims. they may hire an etna or wellpoint to be their administrator. their beef was that they said, well, there isn't an insurance company for us to funnel this through because we use this self-insured model, there isn't anybody that we can essentially pass this cost on to.
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so i think that was a large sticking point. i think both sides were hopeful that they could come to an agreement. but it is very tricky to say that you're going to still require the employer to provide the coverage but at the same time try to structure it in a way where they don't feel like they're supporting the policy. >> ifill: now that this is in the courts, is there a legislative solution still possible? >> ... ifill: through the states or in a way that will work its way to the supreme court? >> well, i think it will be interesting to see what happens with the lawsuit. i mean, you know, it's not out of the question that the lawsuit could block it. it remains to be seen how that would play out. i think one of the interesting things to point to is the broader lawsuit that is taking place against the health care overhaul that was considered by the supreme court in march and is expected to be decided on in june. back when those lawsuits were first filed people thought that was a messaging lawsuit. it doesn't have a good chance of passing or actually peeling back the law. the feeling this time around is that even if it's not clear that
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there's a very strong legal case that it could have big implications for whether the administration decides to stick to its guns on this policy or possibly back away from it. >> ifill: another assault on another kind of mandate in the health care law. janet adamy of the wall street journal, thank you so much. >> my pleasure. >> brown: next: the promise and the realities of teaching skills and trades to high school dropouts. "newshour" economics correspondent paul solman reports for "american graduate project" on a program that aims to do that and much more. >> reporter: a back-to-high- school program for dropouts that teaches construction skills, and more traditional subjects. >> okay, so you're reading elie wiesel's "night", about the holocaust. >> reporter: in literature
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class, today's topic was adolf hitler and why germans agreed to carry out the final solution. >> i believe they did it out of fear. fear of hilter and him controlling their lives, maybe. >> reporter: 18-year-old kendra sims, eight months pregnant, dropped out of school for financial reasons. but now she plans to become a nurse-- eventually, a doctor-- where critical thinking can make all the difference. this is the bloomington, illinois outpost of the national non-profit youthbuild. since 1994, it has trained 110,000 students at 273 spots around the country to put up houses for their communities, teach marketable construction skills on the job, build critical thinking skills in the classroom and build confidence in the students themselves. the results are tangible. 120 youthbuild homes stud the streets of bloomington and its
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twin city, normal-- a former crack house where syringes littered the floor. an erstwhile empty lot, now affordable housing for ten families. drive 15 minutes outside town, through illinois' windswept fields and one its newest industries, power generation and you'll find an entire low- income subdivision built by former dropouts. jason wallace now lives in the very home he helped build. >> this is the laundry which turns into the master bath. >> reporter: youthbuild mclean county is a charter school that's part of the local system, bankrolled in part by the department of labor, housing and urban development and americorps. housed in one wing of a failed outlet mall, its only neighbor, is a bingo parlor. that leaves plenty of room to teach english, math and construction to dropouts, ages 16 to 24, 50% of whom have done
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time, 50% of whom have children. but by the time they leave youthbuild, more than 70% will have marketable building skills and their g.e.d. or diploma. nearly two out of three will go on to some kind of college. where they may learn a different meaning for the term deconstruction which here, they mean quite literally. >> we get frustrated and we just like break stuff and get happy with it and go home laughing, hey i just broke that, you know. >> reporter: they learn to tear down the old and put up the new. >> it's hands on. and i've never been a person that could just sit there all day. >> reporter: hands-on is one youthbuild edge says suzanne fitzgerald, who runs the program here. >> if you're someone who's more mechanically inclined, someone who needs a project-- touch it, feel it, take it apart, put it back together. you don't see a lot of that available in the school systems or in the colleges.
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we would reach many more of our failing young people if we were able to teach in the way that they learned. >> reporter: graduate dontel crowder says physical learning kept him in school at youthbuild. >> some people like learning like hands on more than like just reading papers and stuff like that. >> is that you? >> yeah. i like... i just like to get the job done. i like, you tell me what to do, you show me and that's all i need to know. you know what i'm saying? >> reporter: economics professor mike seeborg has studied those in the program. >> they move back and forth from skill training and construction to literacy training, working towards their diploma or their g.e.d. and as they do that, many of them see the relevancy more of literacy and math skills. so as they're learning to build homes, they're really building their lives and a future perhaps outside of construction. >> reporter: hands-on is a key youthbuild advantage.
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>> what do you need to do to make that goal a reality. >> reporter: one-on-one is another. teachers like alicia lenard a youthbuild student herself 14 years ago, are as hard to elude as mentors in a 12-step program. >> if a student is absent for three days, we're convening in the hallways have you seen johnny? where's johnny? and everyone's like oh no. and we track him down and you know even if johnny doesn't want to come to school that day we just go check on him and give him a hug and say we love him and we just need him at school. >> here they take time out to come and help you, like this is the problem and work with you. >> reporter: so bottom line, what's not to like? it may seem like bad timing to train kids for today's dormant construction industry, but it's more job training than most kids get in school, and certainly most dropouts. so youthbuild's benefits seem obvious. but it costs more than 16,000
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per year, per student. economist robert lerman: >> up until this point, we did not have really serious research that proves that it's highly effective, that it could be or modest, or maybe even on balance may not even capture its costs. >> reporter: youthbuild director fitzgerald's response? >> youthbuild is a relatively expensive program, it's a longer term program than many of the other programs out there. but when you look at any program i think you have to look at what the return on investment is. and so, if you have young people coming out of youthbuild and going back into the system, obviously that's a poor return on iestment. but that's not what we see with youthbuild. >> reporter: when you say, go back into the system i'm not sure i understood what you meant. >> i mean going into the department of corrections. >> reporter: exactly, says economist mike seeborg: pay now so you don't have to pay later for prison, welfare, food
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stamps, housing assistance. >> so the benefits from programs like this come from costs not incurred from dropping out and not finishing high school. >> reporter: now let's not romanticize. only 3%-4% of youthbuild's students have gone on to get a four-year college degree, compared to nearly 30% of students nationwide. though youthbuild's goal was, until recently, just getting kids a diploma or g.e.d. in a district where 12% of the students still don't make it to graduation no better than the national average. but here in bloomington, the youthbuild program-- casual and yet rigorous-- has become so popular, we were told kids are now actually dropping out of the local high schools to be eligible for the program. true, we asked kendra sims. >> yes, it's true.
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because youthbuild is like a better environment-- not so much pressure how you are in high school when it comes to dressing or keeping up with students or you're afraid to raise your hand in class because you might be talked about, here everybody understands, everybody learns at different levels and everybody works together to help each other. himself a former dropout and youthbuild grad, one way to spur employment is learning by doing, as they practice it here. but the other answer is simpler than that: spend what youthbuild spends to prepare young people for the workforce. michael donnelly, himself a former dropout and youthbuild grad, is a guidance counselor at the high school in normal. >> reporter: so if you at normal here had the kind of money per student that youthbuild has you could have the same level of success? >> oh, yeah, easily. i believe that wholeheartedly. if you could go through and say, you know what, man, each one of these students, we're going to give them a personal experience,
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we're going to put all these resources around them to make sure that they succeed, to make sure that they do the things they need to do, oh yeah, 100%, schools would be a lot better. >> reporter: a problem that, at the moment, is hobbling more than 10% of america's high school students, at a cost to them and us. >> brown: the "american graduate" series is a public media initiative funded by the corporation for public broadcasting. >> ifill: nato's exit plan from afghanistan moves a bit closer to reality. judy woodruff has the story. >> woodruff: the world leaders who gathered in chicago this morning, discussing the future of nato's commitment to afghanistan, were welcomed by the windy city's most prominent citizen.
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>> the presence of so many >> woodruff: president obama renewed his pledge to draw down international forces-- known as "isaf"-- while bolstering the afghan military and police. >> this will be another step toward afghans taking full lead for their security as agreed to by 2014 when the isaf combat mission will end. >> woodruff: the president thanked the central asian nations and russia for assistance in ensuring supply routes into afghanistan, but he pointedly omitted any mention of pakistan. the pakistani president asif ali zardari had been invited to the summit at the last minute, as the u.s. tried to negotiate the re-opening of vital supply routes from pakistan. they've been closed since last fall, when an american attack mistakenly killed 24 pakistani troops along the border. mr. obama met with zardari today on the summit's sidelines, but a new accord remained elusive.
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>> we're actually making diligent progress. i don't want to paper over real challenges there. there's no doubt there have been tensions between isaf and pakistan and the united states and pakistan over the last several months. i think they are being worked through, both military and diplomatic channels. the president had welcomed afghan president hamid karzai to the summit on sunday. >> the partnership that we signed a few weeks ago in kabul has turned a new page in our relations. and the new page is a page of two sovereign countries working together for the mutual interests-- peace and security >> reporter: the two men signed that longterm strategic agreement just three weeks ago, in kabul. the chicago summit was supposed to ensure financial assistance for the afghan police and army. the u.s., the afghans and non-
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nato countries planned to put up a combined $2.8 billion per year. they sought another $1.3 billion from the allies but that fundraising effort came up well short of its goal. it was also unclear how many nato nations would stay in afghanistan and for how long. on sunday, the new french president francois hollande reaffirmed plans to extract his nation's 3,400 combat troops one year earlier than planned. >> it was a pledge i made to the french people. i explained it to president obama and i told my colleagues that it wasn't a negotiable issue and that it belonged to the french sovereignty and each one of them understood it well. >> reporter: whether a residual french training force stays in afghanistan remained to be seen. for its part, the taliban seized on the french announcement, saying on its website:
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and in the streets of chicago, demonstrators rallied for a third day to denounce the war and demand withdrawal. an outbreak of violence yesterday resulted in dozens of arrests. protesters focused not only on but, for the most part, the protests were peaceful. and they came as a clear majority of americans now say in public opinion polls the war is no longer worth fighting. >> woodruff: for more, we turn to two men with extensive experience dealing with afghanistan. ambassador james dobbins was a career diplomat serving in a number of conflict zones including afghanistan. he's now the director of rand's international security and defense policy center. and retired colonel david lamm was the chief of staff to the combined forces command in
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afghanistan in 2004 and 2005. he's now at national defense university. gentlemen, thank you both for being here. ambassador dobbins, to you first. this nato meeting, how does it affect events in afghanistan? >> well, i think the nato meeting, it was well prepared. there weren't any big surprises. it did confirm, of course, that nato has been on. it clarified somewhat the schedule for turning combat responsibilities over to the afghans. it affirmed an intention to meet the costs of afghan national security forces well beyond 2014. and it affirmed that nato and the united states would remain there militarily in noncombat roles beyond that. it left uncertain exactly how much each state is going to contribute. and it certainly left uncertain what kind of forces they would retain beyond 2014.
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>> woodruff: colonel lamm, how do you size up the contribution or not of this meeting? >> well, i think as the ambassador pointed out, they've affirmed a number of things. but the devil is in the details here. exactly what does the troop footprint of isaf look like after 2014 into '15, particularly the enablers: intelligence, aviation, medical, support. all of these things that up to this point the afghans have not provided for themselves are going to have to be provided. the cost of just the enablers, i think, would exceed the $4.1 billion that the pledge is for the ansf over the period over each year. a lot of details to be worked out still. >> woodruff: what about the timetable itself? does that seem clear now coming out of this meeting, the withdrawal timetable? >> i think the timetable is very
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clear. but the problem that general john allen will have now is how he executes that timetable. and how quickly we can get the afghan national security forces, both army and police, to function as an integral national body. >> woodruff: let's talk about that. how ready are the afghan... the government, the military, the police, how red are they, will they be by 2014? >> well, as president obama said they're never going to be ready until they're thrown in the pool. and told sink or swim. as long as they remain dependent on us, they're going to be dependent. so it's only by essentially forcing a level of independence and autonomy that they're going to develop the skills necessary to survive without the large american and nato presence.
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they're not ready in many respects. on the other hand, they're much more numerous than their opponents. they're much better equipped than their opponents. >> woodruff: meaning the taliban. >> the taliban. and they're going to be receiving substantial american and allied support for what now amounts to 14 years from now. >> woodruff: colonel lamm, how do you see the readiness of the afghan forces? >> i think to tend with the ambassador with one major caveat. that is from the aspect of logistical support, turning this over very quickly to the afghans by 2014 will be very difficult. i think there will be a long period of time where coalition forces -- read into that u.s. forces -- are going to have to do that. aviation, close air support... >> woodruff: you mean after 2014? >> i believe so, yes. woodruff: but combat troops will be out? >> well, remember, if you're a
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support personnel and you're driving a truck on the ground or you're flying a helicopter in afghanistan, i think even president karzai would mention the fact that even if you're a support troop, you will be engaged in combat. >> woodruff: but, ambassador dobbins, you don't sound as concerned about the long-term ability of afghan forces to secure themselves. >> well, i am concerned. but i think, you know, there's two transitions that take place in 2014. one is the transition from nato-led to afghan-led combat operations. and the other the transition from karzai-led to somebody else-led afghan government. i don't think the afghan army is going to run away in 2014, but i think that... i think the bigger risk is that the center begins to disintegrate. you no longer have a national leader who, despite all his failings and all his shortcomings, continues to enjoy very substantial support across all of the sectarian groups in
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afghanistan. >> woodruff: you're talking about the political leadership of the country. >> yes. woodruff: and the effect you're saying that would have on the military and the security? >> right. in other words, an army is only as good as the level of political support oversight that it receives. >> woodruff: is that what your concern is? >> my concern as well is that what happens is the political center begins to erode. the afghan army and its security forces will revert to what they've done for hundreds of years. they'll protect local interests, tribal interests again. but the problem will be is how well they're able to function at the behest of the central government. >> woodruff: as a national force. what about that on that point? >> i think it's a legitimate concern. it's not a prediction that this is going to happen. as i said the larger risk is not that these forces will run away. it's that the center of gravity
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in the country will erode under the pressures of selecting a new leadership in a country that hasn't really had peaceful transitions of government in its history. so i think we need to follow that as closely as we do, the training and the equipping of the afghan national security forces which frankly have almost monopolized our attention over the past several years. >> woodruff: and how much, colonel lamm, is pakistan a concern in all of this because this agreement over reopening the supply routes, it does now appear they're on the verge of an agreement after... not being able to work one out for some months. but in terms of being able to determine the future of afghanistan, what role does pakistan play? >> pakistan's role is huge. i think everybody in washington and our coalition partners realize that. it is the place where the
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relative safe havens are set up. at the same time, supplying afghanistan, as you mentioned, i'm not sure how close we are to a deal to reopen the logistical routes into afghanistan from karachi up in through afghanistan. those are on the margins about six times more expensive to come through the north than they are to move up through pakistan. >> woodruff: which has been the most recent. >> which has been the most recent situation. >> woodruff: ambassador dobbins, just finally, how do you see the role of pakistan in all of this? >> successful negotiation to reopen the supply route simply brings us back to where we were three or four months ago which is very unsatisfactory position. it's one in which the pakistanis are both our allies and to a considerable degree operating against us. they're allowing, they're acquiescing in the operations of
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insurgents in their country operating against us. we're, on the other hand, conducting military strikes on their territory over their objections. so putting aside this particular issue really only advances us, you know, in a very marginal way toward some real understanding with pakistan over the afghanistan's future. >> woodruff: nothing simple about this one. ambassador james done ins, colonel david lamm, we thank you both. >> thank you. brown: finally tonight remembering world renown singer dietrich fischer dieskau. he was a prolific performer and recording artist who became one of the leading musicians of the 20th century. he died friday at the age of 86. here's a clip of fischer dieskau
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singing a section of a performance recorded in 1979 with alfred brendell playing the piano. ♪ >> ifill: again, the major ♪ ♪
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>> brown: and joining me now is the classical music critic for the "washington post." i could see your concentration watching that. >> beautiful. wonderful song, wonderful cycle which of course he recorded eight times. >> brown: now one of the great musicians of the 20th century but why? what makes him so? >> i put that in the obituary deliberately because there's a thought that singers are not musicians. he's the exception that proves the rule. he uses his voice like an instrument. he has such supreme technical mastery of the voice. he can do anything he wants with it. he could sing any vowel on any note and with any shade of color and one thing up can't see from just seeing him in one clip is the way he would change his style and his approach for different music so when he was
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singing french opera, he sounded french. when he was singing wagner, he sounded rich and profound. that kind of mutability, an ability to i am immerse himself in music is a very hard thing to achieve. >> brown: the song that we just heard that he so personified, explain a little bit what that is and the role it plays in classical music. >> there is a mystique about that song which is almost unfortunate because it leads newcomers to music to think that it's very dry and abstract and serious as the clip we just saw puts forward. but it's basically a song. the song is the most basic unit of music. the mystique has grown up because it's great poetry or not-so-great poetry. it forms a real cornerstone of the vocal repertoire. particularly german art song because there's a lot of it. fischer dieskau dominated that area as no one else probably before or since. truly it became his calling card but that's a little unfortunate
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in that it keeps us from appreciating the range of his musical ability which did go beyond the art song. i don't think i fully realized until quite recently what a formidable opera singer he was even of italian opera which we don't associate with him at all. i think fischer dieskau was the voice of the german music to many people who don't realize that he could also do italian and french and even english. >> brown: whether in opera or in those art songs, more recordings than any artist ever. that's what i read. that kind of stunned me. >> i believe that's true although as one of my editors said some motown record recording artist from detroit is going to come and say... >> brown: he's at least up there. >> he made something like 1,000 lps. there was an article in the "new york times" in 1980 when he was still very, very active pointing out he had recorded almost 3,000 songs and recorded 59 complete
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operas, 117oratorios. i hope i'm getting those figures right but i'm in the ballpark. just an incredible volume and prolific artistry and the fact that he could approach that broad a spectrum with such focus is... it's remarkable. >> brown: but that also made him "the" voice for millions of people who care about this music because of those recordings. you said eight times recording just that last song by schubert. >> for american listeners because he didn't sing opera if at all very seldom and never at the metropolitan opera in america. most of his work was in europe. we knew him almost exclusively as a singer of these art songs, thee recitals which were sort of a pinnacle for many music lovers. >> brown: we're going to continue this conversation online. but for now, thanks so much for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> ifill: again, the major developments of the day:
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a former rutgers university student was sentenced to 30 days in prison for spying on his gay roommate, who later jumped to his death from a bridge. a powerful suicide bomb exploded in the capital of yemen, killing 96 soldiers and wounding more than 200. and roman catholic dioceses and schools filed lawsuits over a federal mandate to provide free birth control under health insurance. online, we hear from the national champion of the poetry out loud contest. kwame holman explains. >> holman: jeff talked with 18- year-old kristen dupard from mississippi. she received $20,000 for her recitation. on our world page, we've posted and in politics, president obama today outlined why he thinks attacking mitt romney's record at the private equity firm bain capital is fair game on the we have video and analysis. all that and more is on our web site: newshour.pbs.org. gwen? >> ifill: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. on tuesday, we'll look at joplin, missouri, on the mend one year after the deadly tornado. i'm gwen ifill. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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>> and by the bill and melinda gates foundation. dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy productive life. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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